The image of Maldives evokes an image of pristine white beaches and azure waters, dotted with exotic resorts, in the mind of an outsider. But this image may not last long due to the recent political crises that the tourism-dominated nation is facing. The political crisis in the Maldives is growing to be far more complex, without a solution in sight, with each passing day. The resignation of the health minister is a testimony to the worsening political condition. Dunya Maumoon is the daughter of former president and the niece of the current president.
Maldives and India have historically shared warm bilateral ties, with both being members of the SAARC. But in recent times, the ties seem to be declining since the Maldives seems to be coming under the influence of Beijing, unlike previous times, when it was a very important and strategic part of the Indian sphere of influence. In the midst of this, India has declined to participate in a naval exercise with the Maldives.
Earlier this month, a state of emergency was declared by President Yameen al Gayoom, soon after the Supreme Court released some of his political opponents. This is said to be an attempt to maintain his control. Post the declaration of emergency, he had his half-brother, the former president and the father of the health minister arrested, on the charges of conspiring against the government.
It remains to be seen how India will react to the crisis in its backyard. The ties seem to be souring due to the extension of the emergency, which was opposed vehemently by India. With the ties between Beijing and Male better than ever, this crisis is of paramount importance to India.